Somalia Country Report
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's authority is significantly challenged by rival clans, the regional administrations, and foreign governments. A motion of 'no confidence' seeking to remove the president is likely in 2018–19, but the requisite simple majority needed in parliament is unlikely to be achieved. Even if Mohamed remains, there will be delays to implementing a security-sector reform programme endorsed by multiple bilateral partners. The capability of government forces to take over from the African Union forces in combating Al-Shabaab is limited. A territorial dispute between Somaliland and neighbouring Puntland is likely to escalate ahead of Puntland's presidential election on 8 January 2019. This scenario allows Al-Shabaab to conduct VBIED raids around Bosaso portand increases piracy activity, which currently has a low success rate against commercial shipping.
The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has very limited resources to scrutinise the use of budgetary proceeds and award of contracts by ministries, and oversight agencies are likely to face intimidation. Ministries are unlikely to fully enforce regulations on the reporting of corruption, particularly within the interior and security ministries. Anti-corruption efforts are unlikely to improve the operating environment during President Mohamed's term until 2020, especially given the continued influence of the rival Hawiye clan patronage networks. Unions are weak and unlikely to successfully oppose wage arrears and poor working conditions.
The Somali National Army (SNA) and regional African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are embarked on a joint offensive to secure key supply routes in southern Somalia, supported by US air power. However, the SNA is unlikely to prove capable of retaking significant territorial control and take full responsibility for operational conditions and the security environment improving around 2020. Al-Shabaab is taking advantage of the deteriorating security in Puntland and will probably escalate to successful vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attacks there. Bosaso port is an aspirational target. VBIED attacks in Mogadishu occur at least once a month targeting the airport, hotels, police stations, and government buildings.
Puntland forces are likely to try and recapture the disputed town of Tukaraq, Sool region, before the region's presidential election is held on 9 January 2019. Tukaraq was captured by rival Somaliland forces on 8 January 2018, resulting in both sides having deployed artillery and mechanised units to the region. Military escalation is likely but neither side is capable of achieving a decisive victory. Urban centres and ports are unlikely to be affected. Separately, the Galmudug regional administration is now improving relations with Sufi-aligned ASWJ militia, but their integration into government forces remains contested. Galmudug's boundary dispute with Puntland is unlikely to be resolved in 2018.
Disputes over the ongoing devolution process trigger violent protests, at least twice a year, between rival clans in Galkayo, Galmudug, Garowe, and Nugaal regions. Protests caused by wage reductions are likely to disrupt access to Berbera port in Somaliland for only up to 24 hours because labour is poorly organised. Protests are also likely at Bosaso port over unfavourable commercial decisions, causing limited disruption to freight cargo operations. Military wage arrears in Puntland intensify protests by security forces around January 2019 presidential election there, involving roadblocks and the non-violent occupation of government buildings in Galkayo and Garowe.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all individuals traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Roads throughout the country are in poor condition as they are generally neither maintained nor lit at night and traffic lights are rare. As such, driving can be a dangerous activity; it is advisable to avoid all road travel after nightfall. Additionally, landmines and IEDs are an ever present danger.
Illegal roadblocks, highway banditry, and other violent crime can occur at any time in any locality. When traveling by car, doors should be locked and windows rolled-up.
All road travel should be undertaken with an armed escort, in a convoy, and in an all-terrain vehicle. Always travel with sufficient stocks of water, food, and fuel, as well as the necessary equipment to deal with breakdowns (spare tire, jumper cables, etc.). Always carry an effective means of communication and back-up.
Operations at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport (MGQ) are regularly suspended with little to no warning. Additionally, the airport and aircraft operating out of it are susceptible to attack, as was the case in February 2016, when a bomb was smuggled onto a flight. Security procedures and checks have been enhanced at MGQ; however, the fact that a bomb was able to be carried onto the plane in the first place indicates Al-Shabaab may have agents employed within the facility.
Cuts to water services and power outages are common across the country.
Somalia has an arid climate which is slightly more temperate along the coast.
There are two rainy seasons, from March to May and again from September to December. The air is very hot and dry between December and February. In the north, temperatures are generally higher than in the rest of the country and the region also receives less rain. The coastal regions are very dry. During the summer months, monsoon winds bring slightly lower temperatures.
There are no emergency services in Somalia.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz